Ljungman, P., Engelhard, D., de la Cámara, R., Einsele, H., Locasciulli, A., Martino, R., . . . Infectious Diseases Working Party of the European Group for Blood and Marrow Transplantation. (2005). Vaccination of stem cell transplant recipients: recommendations of the Infectious Diseases Working Party of the EBMT. Bone Marrow Transplantation, 35, 737–746.doi: 10.1038/sj.bmt.1704870
To update previous recommendations (released in 1995 and last updated in 1999) for vaccinations in pediatric and adult hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) recipients.
This resource was classified as a guideline.
Recommendations for 18 vaccinations were drawn from published data, most of which were specific to stem cell transplantation recipients. The strength of each recommendation and the quality of evidence supporting it are noted in a summary table, using grading standards endorsed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Patients undergoing HSCT are advised to be vaccinated against bacterial and viral infections beginning six to 12 months after transplantation, with the exception of meningococcal vaccine. Because polysaccharide pneumococcal vaccines are ineffective in patients with chronic graft-versus-host disease (GVHD), antibiotic prophylaxis should be given to patients with GVHD in addition to the pneumococcal vaccine. Three doses of Haemophilus influenzae type B (Hib) conjugate vaccine, tetanus toxoid vaccine, and diphtheria toxoid vaccine should be given beginning six months posttransplantation and spaced one to three months apart. Routine vaccination against pertussis was not recommended. Bacillus Calmette-Guerin vaccine was specifically contraindicated in this population.
Inactivated influenza vaccine was recommended for all patients undergoing HSCT, beginning no earlier than four to six months posttransplantation. For patients undergoing allogeneic HSCT, influenza vaccination should be given annually (prior to influenza season) and continue at least as long as the patient remains immunocompromised. For patients undergoing autologous HSCT, the duration of yearly influenza vaccination should be assessed individually. Patients undergoing HSCT and those in close contact with them (e.g., family members and hospital staff who care for these patients) should be vaccinated against polio using the inactivated poliovirus vaccine only.
Patients undergoing HSCT should receive three doses of the inactivated vaccine, beginning six to 12 months following transplantation, with subsequent doses one to three months apart. Hepatitis B vaccination (HBV) is recommended for patients undergoing HSCT living in countries where HBV is recommended for the general public and should be given six to 12 months following HSCT. Vaccination with two doses of hepatitis A may be considered for patients who live or plan to travel to areas where the disease is endemic. The measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine is generally recommended to begin no sooner that 24 months after HSCT but may be considered earlier if there is a high risk of measles. MMR is contraindicated in patients with chronic GVHD or ongoing immunosuppression. To prevent varicella, seronegative family members should be immunized with the varicella-zoster virus (VZV) vaccine. Seronegative patients undergoing HSCT may be considered for the VZV vaccine two years following transplantation, provided they are free of GVHD or ongoing immunosuppression. Vaccination of seropositive patients undergoing HSCT is not recommended.
Vaccination against yellow fever should only be considered in patients undergoing HSCT who must travel to areas of the world where yellow fever is endemic. Guidelines for serological testing of immune status are also included, again following the CDC grading standards. Immunity testing before vaccination is not necessary for tetanus toxoid, diphtheria toxoid, polio, influenza, pneumococcal, and Hib but is recommended for HBV, measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR), and varicella-zoster virus (VZV). Postvaccination testing to assess immune response is not recommended for tetanus toxoid, diphtheria toxoid, polio, Hib, or influenza. It is recommended for hepatitis B, MMR, and VZV and also may be considered for pneumococcal vaccine for patients at increased risk of poor response.
This article provided a concise summary for providers to use when considering the vaccination needs of HSCT recipients. It rated the strength of each recommendation using CDC guidelines. The article was extensively referenced to aid readers who wish to delve more deeply into the studies supporting each recommendation.